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City Hall officers recommend that Boris approves Eileen House tower

London SE1 website team

Greater London Authority planning officers at City Hall have recommended that Mayor of London Boris Johnson grants permission for the controversial redevelopment of Eileen House on Newington Causeway.

City Hall officers recommend that Boris approves Eileen House tower

Next Tuesday – nearly two years after 'taking over' the planning application from Southwark Council – Mr Johnson will hold a public hearing at City Hall to make his final decision on the case.

Developer Oakmayne proposes a 41-storey tower – designed by Allies and Morrison – at the junction of Newington Causeway, Southwark Bridge Road and Gaunt Street, close to the Elephant & Castle.

The adjacent Ministry of Sound club has mounted a high-profile campaign against the development as it fears it will lose its 24-licence if it is the subject of noise complaints from its new residential neighbours.

In an open letter to the Mayor earlier this month, the club said: "Whatever else you've been told, if you approve the Eileen House scheme as it stands, Ministry of Sound will close".

The scheme was turned down by Southwark councillors in October 2011 citing loss of business space, insufficient affordable housing, the likelihood that residents would suffer noise disturbance from the adjacent nightclub and concerns over design quality.

Papers published this week show that Mr Johnson visited Eileen House on 3 May this year to familiarise himself with the site.

GLA planning officers argue that the scheme is acceptable because of the "very high standard" of architecture and the fact that it will provide 335 new homes including 65 shared ownership flats.

On the noise issue, the GLA planners welcome the changes made by Oakmayne, including sealed windows in some flats, intended to reduce the impact of noise on the new residents.

"On Balance the proposal provides a very good standard of accommodation in a challenging context," says the report.

The City Hall officers also conclude that a "...consequent socio-economic impact on the MoS nightclub due to action from future occupiers cannot be reasonably viewed as a likely significant effect of the proposal".

• The Mayor of London's hearing on the Eileen House application will be held in the chamber at City Hall at 2pm on Tuesday 19 November. The meeting is open to the public.

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